Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Sheet Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) Office Supply Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) 1. Whom do I contact for more information? Questions on the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative Office Supplies BPA may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact Hassan Harris at 212-264-4784 or Prince Choudhury 212.264-.3025. 2. What is a FSSI Office Supplies BPA? A FSSI Office Supply Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) is an agreement that was established off of GSA Multiple Award Schedule 75 Contract, to enable all federal agencies to fill their repetitive needs for supplies or services, additional benefits include: (a) Capturing economies of scale (b) Ensuring compliance with applicable regulations to include the AbilityOne program, sustainable purchasing requirements and the Trade Agreement Act (c) Fostering markets for sustainable technologies and environmentally preferable products by offering the most up to date items with various environmental attributes (d) Simplifying data collection and enhancing transparency by enabling agencies to better manage spend and measure cost savings (e) Enabling achievement of socioeconomic goals with companies of various business sizes and classifications such as small, small-women owned, small disadvantaged, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, small disadvantaged women-owned and large business 3. FSSI Office Supplies BPA Period of Performance? The period of performance is: Base Year June 1, 2010 to May 31, 2010 Option Period 1 (One year) Option Period 2 (One year) Option Period 3 (One year) 4. How do I use the FSSI Office Supplies BPAs? For orders $3,000 or less. all you need is your GSA SmartPay card, go directly to one of the contractors, and place your order. You can place your order through GSA Advantage, DoD Emall, through the contractor web site, by phone, by fax, walk-in, or through your agency portal. GSA’s goal is to make this easy to use. The channel does not matter. Contractors will accept orders placed through any of these means. To find them in GSA Advantage, go to www.gsaadvantage.gov and click on strategic sourcing, or DOD EMall, go to www.dlis.dla.mil/emall. If your order is larger than $3000, go to your contracting officer for help. Some agencies may however, designate which BPA contractors to utilize, based on specific agency mandates. This would be done in accordance with FAR Part 8.405-3. The information would be provided through your agencies’ headquarters. 5. What are the delivery requirements? Standard delivery will be 3-4 business day ground to your building. Express delivery, desktop delivery, secure delivery and International Delivery, all are available, and may carry an extra fee. Orders below $100 may also carry a convenience fee. 6. Why 3 – 4 business days for delivery? In most circumstances, you can plan - ahead for delivery of office supplies. By doing so, we generate two major benefits. One, we significantly decrease costs. Overnight delivery may add 10 – 20% to the cost of the item. Two, by placing fewer and larger orders, we reduce our impact on the environment. 7. Why a $100 minimum. I don’t need that much. One significant way to reduce total cost is to increase order size. This results in less paperwork, less tracking, less reconciliation. Further benefits are fewer trucks on the road making deliveries. GSA recommends that you consolidate your orders, so that you have fewer total transactions to manage. However, recognizing that this is not always possible, the BPAs do include a feature for you to place smaller orders, but be aware there is a convenience fee, varies by contractor, for this privilege. 8. When will the information be in GSA Advantage or DoD EMall? All information is required to be in the GSA Advantage and DoD EMall as of July 1, 2010. To locate the FSSI Office Supply BPA’s via GSA Advantage under Special Programs tab click on Strategic Sourcing BPAs or select FSSI Office Supplies under the All Categories drop down menu. To access the FSSI Office Supply BPAs via DOD EMall under the change corrider drop down menu select Federal Strategic Sourcing BPA’s 9. Will there be multiple prices in GSA Advantage? No. One of the requirements of the BPA was that whenever the P-Card is used, the agency benefit from the better pricing obtained on the BPAs. To implement this requirement, the Contractors will be removing their existing pricelists from GSA Advantage and DoD E-Mall, and replacing them with BPA pricing. 10. When will agencies start using the FSSI Office Supplies BPA? Some agencies have agency-wide “enterprise” solutions in place today. These agencies will gradually transition over the next 18 months. Agencies with solutions in place today include IRS, DHS, Department of Interior, and parts of the Department of Defense. Other agencies, such as the VA anticipate using the new FSSI solution during the fourth quarter of FY 2010. 11. What happens to the first generation Federal Strategic Sourcing Solution for Office Supplies? These BPAs expire in August 2, 2010. 12. What are the competition requirements? No competition is required on orders below the micro-purchase threshold, $3000. For orders exceeding the micro-purchase threshold your Contracting Officer can post your requirements on GSA’s E-Buy system and compete amongst the BPA holders. 13. Why use the FSSI Office Supply BPA’s ? The BPA’s are designed to leverage the total Government spend. As more agencies use them, we will hit volume discounts driving the prices even lower. The BPAs have numerous green attributes, which will address sustainability goals. The BPAs comply with all the procurement regulations. The prices have been proven better than any agency can get on their own. They are easy to use. Your agency will obtain spend data to help keep prices down in the future. Unlike buying office supplies retail, you can be assured you are not paying sales tax. By using your GSA SmartPay card, you’ll automatically get these prices and your agency will even credit card refunds in the process. 14. Who may use these BPA’s? If you have a GSA SmartPay card, and work for the Federal Government or the Department of Defense, you may use the BPA. 15. Are Federal Agencies required to purchase from the BPAs? No. Although Federal Agencies could experience savings by procuring office supplies through these Federal Strategic Sourcing BPAs, Agencies may decide whether or not to participate based upon their agency business decisions. 16. Are these BPAs consistent with AbilityOne? Yes. All contractors are required to remain AbilityOne certified resellers. 17. How will using the BPAs save money? First, the BPAs were competed. While prices of individual products constantly vary, overall, the prices average 19% off of the GSA Schedule prices. BTW, the GSA schedule prices, themselves, average 40% off of retail pricing. Secondly, the BPAs include significant volume based discounts. As usage hits different thresholds, across Government, the price continues to drop. These volume discounts will kick in automatically. All you have to do is place your order with one of the FSSI contractors. 18. Do the BPAs promote sustainability? Yes. The items on the BPAs meet Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPG), provide for toner recycling, and include a vast array of remanufactured items. The delivery terms reduce the total number of shipments. QUESTIONS FROM INDUSTRY 19. How long are these BPAs in effect? The BPAs are awarded for 1 year with 3 one year option periods. 20. My company was not awarded one of the BPAs. Will I be out of the market for the full 4 years? No. The BPAs include a provision that allows for additional awards to be made in the best interests of the Government. GSA anticipates that it will have periodic needs to add additional firms, to ensure quality performance and to address increasing usage. 21. Are there subcontracting opportunities? Potentially yes. Contact the contractors to ask about subcontracting opportunities.
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